Twitter Inc. upgraded its social networking service this morning to take even even further beyond 140 characters containing about bunch of @ symbols and hashtags.

The San Francisco-based firm says in a blog post its rolling out private group messaging and mobile video to its users starting today. While you may not have access to these features yet from your own account, Twitter says that you’ll be able to participate in group chats that are started with you by the privileged few that do have early access to that feature. You’ll also be able to view video posts embedded into tweets from some users, like this first-ever video tweet from Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris:

New group messaging feature

The new group messaging feature will be an expansion of the Direct Message (DM) capability currently found on the service. You’ll be able to add additional recipients to your DM in “just a few taps,” according to Twitter. Then all members of the group will be connected in the chat and be able to see each other’s messages, whether they are following each other or not. The group will support up to 20 people at a time.

Twitter explains the use of talking to more than one person at a time in this video that includes a cute rabbit:

Embedded video, video shooting for mobile users

The video feature will be available to users of Twitter’s mobile app. The idea is to shoot a short video (maximum 30 seconds) with your smartphone camera and upload it as an embedded part of your tweet. There is an editing capability within the app to cut shots you don’t like, or rearrange clips on a time line. Here’s a quick tutorial from Twitter:

Using video on Twitter.

It’s noteworthy that the video service is in addition to the Vine messages that already appear on Twitter. Vine, a separate app created by the Twitter team, allows users to create six-second videos by shooting short segments of video at a time with a smartphone. Those messages can also be embedded within a tweet, and automatically play and loop when viewed on Twitter’s website.

 

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